For foodies, the Friday after Thanksgiving can be depressing.
The feast of the year is over. And unless you're lucky enough to be the hostess with the mostest leftovers, you're probably already pining for the succulent turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables of next year.
If you are lucky enough to have lots of leftovers, don't just go for the now-dry turkey breast when whipping up a sandwich. Make sure you get plenty of light and dark meat; gravy and cranberry sauce; even stuffing and mashed potatoes, then grab a roll, says Frank Trifiletti, who owns Rose's Garden Grill, with locations in Linwood and Northfield.
Actually, he recommends about 30 percent dark meat, 70 percent white for the health-conscious; more dark meat with gravy if you're aiming for flavor.
"You've got to have some dark in there. I think the dark meat has the strongest flavor; the same goes for chicken," he says. "We're in the favor business. I could do turkey breast till the sun stops shining, but you get a little more flavor from the thigh - especially when it's roasted on the turkey, with the fat dripping down all that flavor."
Trifiletti roasts his own turkey breasts in house most of the year, but about mid-November, he starts roasting the whole bird, so his sandwiches have that rich flavor and juicy meat.
Trifiletti is something of an expert on sandwiches. He's been dreaming up gourmet hoagies and subs and wraps for years while his wife, Rose, turns his vision into reality on a plate. And people like the food at Rose's in Northfield so much, the family just opened a second location in Linwood's Central Square.
About four years ago, Frank and a foodie friend of his dreamed up the Thanksgiving-themed Foghorn Leghorn sandwich - a cranberry-walnut ciabatta roll stuffed with hand-pulled turkey, homemade stuffing, gravy and a generous serving of Frank's jalapeno-cranberry sauce. Trifiletti serves it with a side of mashed potatoes at Rose's.
Rose's Garden Grill is closed today, but will continue to offer the $8 Foghorn Leghorn, as well as a $5.50 turkey meatball sub with melted provolone through Christmas, or "until people get tired of seeing turkey and stuffing."
Chef Sam DeMarco, aka Sammy D, has his own expertise: Feeding industry insiders, who often are well-versed in culinary techniques and dine in off-peak hours.
In the late '90s, he was dubbed "Chef to the Chefs" by the late-night visitors to his East Village, New York, restaurant. At his Atlantic City cafe "Sammy D's," inside Harrah's Resort, he is offering a classic turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce and sweet-potato aioli on a brioche roll with a side of cornbread chorizo stuffing.
"The fridge is always full after Thanksgiving and my whole family used to put all the pieces together," he explains. "In my Vegas restaurant, FIRST, we do a big spread for the holiday and a lot of industry people come to our bar, so this was a great sandwich we made for … if they had to work that night."
The sweet-potato aioli is "more of a shmear, with whipped potatoes, some maple syrup, butter and cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper." A nod to the discerning palates many food industry workers cultivate, "it brings it all together, sort of like Dad carving the turkey," Demarco says.
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